Blogmas 2016 · Christmas · Making things · sewing · Uncategorized

Blogmas day 5! Felt Crafts

Hello my little festive crafters. Today’s post is going to be photo heavy, Lots to look at.

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I love using felt for crafting. It is such a versatile medium, has great colours, requires only basic skills, is inexpensive, and makes you look like a crafting genius.

I made these little felt guys a couple of years ago. Miss Murfin and I sat around the kitchen table for a couple of hours and had a blast.

She created an entire set of Charlie Brown character Christmas ornaments, while I went for the more traditional route.

None of these shapes are difficult. I drew them free hand, but if you are not too confident with a pen, you can trace a cookie cutter or a colouring book. And of course the internet is full of templates. One of the glories of felt is that is doesn’t fray so you can just cut on the lines you want and sew together. If sewing intimidates you glue works too.

One of my favourite felt designers is Laura Howard. Her book “super-cute felt” is pictured on the right, and her web page is http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.ca/  I learned a lot of my basic techniques from her and still want to try more of her designs.img_1774On the left is a book + kit that Miss Murfin gifted me.  “Cath Kidston Make your own Christmas Decorations” is a favourite and all the supplies were included. I still have more of those to finish.

But today I thought we would make a replica of Geoffrey! img_1759

As I said above I like to find a shape and free hand the design. Felt is very forgiving and if in doubt add a little extra and cut it down as you go. Geoffrey is basically 3 blocks of colour with only a little shaping. I added a little to the top of the face over-lay piece and the bottom of the hat so I could join the pieces together. I layered them with the hat over the top of the face colour.

img_1761When I am laying design elements over other pieces I like to use sewing thread in a matching colour and a whip stitch being careful to keep the stitches similar length and spacing,

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Then I add all the elements together. using my eye to keep it looking even.img_1765

I laid both sets of pieces together to make sure both front and back will be the same length. Also, as I finish sewing each piece I just do a couple of back stitches on the wrong side – they will be on the inside.

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After have both sides assembled  and I add the eyes and nose, I pin them wrong sides together to sew the edges. OK in truth I forgot the add the eyes at this point and had to sneak them on at the end. It would have been EASIER to add them now.

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I decided to use a running stitch around this guy. He is going to hang on the tree so will not be getting handled too much. If I was making a toy or a jewelry, I might use a blanket stitch to close up the edges.

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Before I closed him up I added a bit of stuffing, but not too much as felt will rip if you over stuff it.

And there he is ! Geoffrey 2.0 along with his pal Geoffrey the 1st.

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Of course Christmas is not the only time of year that felt is great. Laura Howard has a great design in her book Super-Cute Felt that I HAD to make.

A Hedgehog Hill mascot of course!hedgie 3

 

Blogmas 2016 · Christmas · Making things · sewing · Tea · Uncategorized

Blogmas day 2 – Advent Calendars

Hello my little Advent Angels

Well here we are at day 2. So lets get right to it and open up some advent calendars.

I love advent calendars, but not the usual ones with the little waxy bits of chocolate. I’d like to think we deserve better than that wouldn’t you?  Happily lots of other people – retailers, crafters and even writers are jumping on the advent calendar train. I think there are more available and more variety every year. Let’s look at a few of mine shall we?

Full confession, I may have gone a wee bit over the top. And you will be seeing the offerings from December 1st as we are one day behind here to allow for writing etc.

First up is my David’s Tea calendar. I really did not intend to buy this one. But I was in the mall, I just popped into the store, and whoops it came home with me. But I am so glad I did because I’m really impressed with the construction of this one. It opens up like a book and has an adorable woodland scene on the left hand side,

The picture below is a split picture showing the cover on the left and the open calendar on the right.

Davids advent

 

There are 24 numbered drawers and inside each one is a little tin of tea. The drawers come right out and after you have “opened” them you replace them backwards to slowly reveal the rest of the woodland scene.

 

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I think this is really clever and makes the whole thing totally reusable next year.

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Each tiny tin has the name of the tea on the back and a clear top. I’m not sure if I will enjoy them all, I tend to be a pretty plain tea girl, but I plan to brew up every evening. I’ll let you know as the month progresses how I feel about the flavours. It is a great way for me to test them out before purchasing a large amount. Well done Davids Teas!

 

I can’t even tell you how excited I was to discover the next one. The Short Story Advent Calendar. Published by Hingston and Olsen it is the brain child of Michael Hingston of Edmonton and designed by Natalie Olsen.

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Beautifully boxed in a sliding cover case each story is simply bound and numbered  1 – 24. Each has a different image highlighted in orange against the neon green cover. Will this be a clue about the story? I’ll have to see. The image on the story for the first is a drumstick….with a bite out of it.

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Hingston and Olsen have created a whole social media community to enhance the enjoyment of the stories. After you read the day’s story you can visit the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts to read about the author and discuss with other readers the themes, ideas, and your reactions. I LOVE short stories as a medium. I so admire when a author can transport you away with so few words. I’ll be reporting back on this as well. Maybe enjoying a read as I sip my  Christmas tea.

But really would it be Christmas if I didn’t also have a chocolate advent calendar? I had to do it. So I opted for the Lindt one. At least the chocolate should be of a better quality.

I think advent calendars are a great way to work up to the big day on the 25th. It really is a lot of pressure and expectations  to put on a single day, a mere 24 hours. The calendars help to build that excitement through the month and give you some kind of present each day. There are so many choices: makeup and body care, yarn/wool, wine or beer. But I also think homemade is best –

so I pulled together a simple one for my Mom this year.

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Using a pre cut 5″ charm square bundle of assorted Christmas prints I created pockets with a green felt back.

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I didn’t do any fancy lining or turning, I just folded down the edge to make a faux cuff and sewed them with a zigzag stitch around the edge.img_1735

 

I found a great string of numbered mittens attached to mini clothes pins to hang them on and slipped a Christmas tea in a foil pouch in each one.

But really you could add all sorts of treats to the little pockets.

This year I have seen more ideas for advent calendars than ever before. I hope this trend continues, I know I have several new ideas for next year!

Until tomorrow…

make do and mend · Making things · sewing

Don’t mind the dust

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 My my it is more than a bit dusty in here don’t you think? What!  Almost a year and no posts? I think it is time Mrs Murfin puts her pinny back on, cleans up the place and writes something. I have been doing a lot of sewing, and a lot of knitting and crochet too, so it’s not like I don’t have stuff to show you. The weather has been nasty and I have cabin fever. So let’s warm this place up a bit. Don’ you love this divided fabric basket? Pattern by Noodlehead . I’ll make some tea and be back in a flash or in a day or two.

Making things · sewing · Uncategorized

Too Cute

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I took advantage of the quiet afternoon snowed in and cozy by the fire and made a hedgie from my new book Super-Cute Felt by Laura Howard. I have to say that the instructions were very clear and easy to follow and I picked up some good tips for working with felt.

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He worked up very quickly. In the end I made him just like in the book. I will be making more in future for other ideas still want to try hin on a tea cozy, and he would be cute on a piece of clothing, or a tote bag…. I was getting pretty excited when I had to put him aside to make dinner. But I got back to him after dinner and making some pineapple squares.

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Ta Da! He is so adorable. I also looked up Laura on Chapters and Amazon and found her blog at Bugandfishes.blogspot.ca  there are lots of great ideas and tutorials there as well.

I also sent her a message on her face book page and she was nice enough to message me back. Hi Laura! I love that it is such a small world.

I found more felt this morning at the dollar store…some new colours. I am off to stitch a broach!

Making things · sewing · The Great Outdoors · Uncategorized

Happy Blog-iversary to me!

Last night WordPress sent me a message telling me my blog is one year old!

Fairies in the snow

Was it a coincidence that yesterday I bought a new craft book called Super Cute Felt by Laura Howard ? I think not!

super cute felt book

And a project that caught my eye was this one?

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It is made into a phone case, but I was thinking last night about what else I might be able to put him on…a tea cozy perhaps? It will be my present to me. 🙂

Lots of great projects in this book. I have been really enjoying working with little felt projects lately. Before Christmas Miss Murfin and I made some fun ornaments.felt ornaments(I must figure out how to save all of my pictures to that size. Somewhere I am missing a step. WordPress changed the picture uploader, change is hard…) 

They are nice to do on a bright snowy day like today. All the white outside makes it brighter in here. I can only see to the edge of the back yard, the farmer’s field are just a white blur. The snow is sticking to the windows. Somewhere out there is the wee barn. I must get out there to fill the bird feeders. It is quiet right now but there may be more snow later. The cardinals really stand out against the snow but they fly off before I can get a good picture. Good day for some stitching.

wee barn cropped

Making things · sewing · The Great Outdoors · Uncategorized

Pardon the dust…

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Hi There!

I know it has been a while, things have been busy at Hedgehog Hill.

New Years day is a snowy one so we took a lovely walk. I really don’t think New Years Day is any more special than any other day, it does have the advantage of being a holiday so we do not have to work.

For many it is the time of year for reflection and planning. As I walked, I was reflecting about how much I had enjoyed blogging, and I was planning how to begin again.

We also did a lot of talking about back yard improvements, new bridge over the pond, walkways, lights, and new gardens. We trooped layouts in the snow, all as the big flakes gently wafted down. Yes, a good day for reflection. Shall we go for a walk?

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pinecone

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Still a few ornaments left on the outside tree. I loved having a lit tree in the back yard this year!

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Time to head back.

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Back inside I’ll show you a few things that are keeping me busy. There was a brand new sewing machine under the tree for Mrs Murfin! A Husqvarna Viking Tribute 140C. I love it! Can’t wait to get at a bunch of projects that I have been avoiding as my old machine was being naughty. Remember these?

vintage quilt

Now they look like this.

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And a piece of bark cloth I have been hoarding became 2 pillows for the couch.

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The rest of New Years day will be spent close to the fire, making plans, so many plans.

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Until next time, soon I hope.

Making things · Random Thoughts · sewing · The Great Outdoors · Uncategorized

Catching up

I was really, really hoping for some sun this weekend. All of this cloudy snowy weather makes for dull pictures. I think there was sun for about 5 minutes on Sunday. I was not outside then…

I am desperate to get some crafty things done. I was able to get a few more rows on the ripple, but that is about it.

I think I will put the butter yellow in next. This is going to be a wildly colourful blanket not matter what so I might as well throw them all in! After that it is bright orange then back to the red….Yep it is going to be a shocker of a blanket. It is already warm as I work on it and very soft. It’s working out to be about 74 inches wide. Lots of room for two to snuggle under.

While shopping I saw the new Husqvarna Limited Edition Tribute sewing machine. They even made it in red….oh dear I have a serious crush on that machine. Excuse me while I go break into my piggy bank…